The Anniversary: Parkerville husand and wife deal with the mother-in-law from hell in Marloo Theatre play

The Anniversary features Paul Reed (left), Benedict Chau, Parkerville resident Shelly Miller, Jacqui Warner and Luke Miller, also of Parkerville.
The Anniversary features Paul Reed (left), Benedict Chau, Parkerville resident Shelly Miller, Jacqui Warner and Luke Miller, also of Parkerville.

PARKERVILLE husband and wife Luke and Shelly Miller are learning all about dysfunctional families and mothers-in-law from hell.

They are appearing in Marloo Theatre’s latest offering, The Anniversary – a black comedy where a mother binds her three sons to her with gifts, threats and ruthless exploitation of their weaknesses.

Written by Bill MacIlwraith and directed by Forrestfield resident Rob Warner, the show sees revolt in the air as they come to celebrate their parents’ wedding anniversary (despite dad being dead for years).

One son gathers the courage to tell his mother he’s taking his wife and family to Canada while another breaks the news of his impending marriage – but is it enough to stop their mother ruling the roost?

The Millers are finding art imitates life in the production, given they are playing husband and wife on stage (although they only have two children in real life, not five).

“Terry is a carpenter and works for his mother,” Luke said.

“He’s always led and never a leader – he’s easily manipulated by his mother and pretty much everyone else.”

Shelly describes her character Karen as the ultimate frustrated daughter-in-law.

“She’s put up with her mother-in-law dictating how they should live their lives for far too long,” she said.

“Nothing Karen does will ever be acknowledged or accepted so running away to Canada is the only way she can see for happiness for herself, her husband and her kids.

“She’s is a strong-willed woman who, up until the events of the anniversary, has let far too much slide – and she uses this strength to gain freedom for her family.”

The Anniversary plays at 8pm April 27, 28, May 2, 4, 5, 9, 11, 12, 16, 18 and 19 with 2pm matinees April 29, May 6 and 13. Tickets are $22, $20 concession, $18 members – book on 6270 1465 or at www.trybooking.com/TZMQ.

Marloo Theatre is at 20 Marloo Road, Greenmount.

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